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Old 02-06-2010, 02:11 AM
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bairdco bairdco is offline
a guy who makes cool bikes
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: living the dream in southern california
Posts: 6,258
Default Re: skip tooth sprockets


back to skiptooths.

i keep seeing gokart sprockets and chainsaw chains when i look for skiptooth stuff. definitely not the same.

the old inch pitch, skiptooth, skiplink, whatever you want to call them, are 1" pitch by 3/8" wide. that means they're wider and it should mean the links are longer.

there's actually two different alternating lengths, an inch link, and one that's just a hair under 1/2". on a skiptooth sprocket, the half inch link never contacts a tooth, it just rides in the valleys.

that's the reason a skiptooth sprocket won't work with a regular, new, 1/2" pitch chain. that "hair" difference won't allow the link to settle onto the sprocket.

it is possible to take an even numbered, 1/2" pitch sprocket like on a new wheel, and grind off every other tooth so you can use it with an old chain, but it's skinnier, and not exactly perfect, and the chain can jump off, wear faster, and break.

that's actually what i've done on my bike, a '39 Colson, and everything i've stated above happens to me.

this has plagued vintage bike collectors and restorers forever, since absolutely no one makes a repro chain, and no older rear cogs fit with any newer rear hubs, and the only way to do it is to pay through the a$$ for an NOS chain, which will cost you $60 to $100 bucks.

now, you could take a regular rear motor sprocket and grind off every other tooth, and use your same chain and front gear, but with the amount of slop and torque beating on that chain, i wouldn't trust it, plus, it wouldn't get that vintage look you're going for.
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